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Does Hayden Panettiere’s confirmed Nashville return mean Juliette is alive?

Well, the good news just keeps on coming! It was only a couple of weeks ago that fans were elated by the announcement that CMT would be picking up Nashville — saving it from a too-soon death — and now TV Line has confirmed that stars Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere will also be returning for Season 5.

Nashies, of course, are already doing a happy country jig.

The news could only mean one thing: After rattling everyone with that infuriating Season 4 cliffhanger, writers did have Panettiere’s Juliette live to sing another song, right?

Before we get too excited at the prospect of Juliette emerging from her flight unscathed, we have to consider other possibilities, like she did, indeed, perish (or is still missing) and will just be appearing in flashbacks. It wouldn’t be a totally unprecedented move by a TV show. If Juliette died and only comes back through Avery’s memories — well, we’ll just start handing out the tissue boxes now.

More: 17 unanswered questions from the Nashville series finale

It’s also rumored that Charles Esten, Sam Palladio, Jonathan Jackson, Clare Bowen, Lennon Stella, Maisy Stella and Chris Carmack will all reprise their Nashville roles, though they have all yet to be officially confirmed.

Jayson Dinsmore, CMT’s head of development, told TV Line last week that their expectation and “hope is that [the entire cast] will participate in this next cycle,” but we already know that’s not going to happen, considering it was announced shortly after his comment that cast members Will Chase and Aubrey Peeples will not be back for the CMT revival as Luke Wheeler and Layla Grant.

More: Nashville: Why Will’s story line is gut-wrenching for this Southerner to watch

What do you think? Is Juliette alive and well?

Check out our slideshow before you go:

CMT awards red carpet
Image: Getty

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